A Perthshire farm manager is preparing to undertake an extraordinary 5000-mile expedition from the rugged terrain of Highland Scotland to the vast expanse of the Sahara Desert to raise funds for agricultural charity, RSABI and Eden Valley Hospice.

This September Hugh Chamberlain, farm manager at Atholl Estates, will embark on the trip as a heartfelt tribute to his late father-in-law, Tony Rawlings, who dreamt of exploring the world in his cherished 1993 Land Rover Defender 300tdi.

Tony, who passed away due to cancer, found solace during his illness by planning and modifying the Land Rover for this very journey. His adventurous spirit and meticulous preparations provided a welcome distraction from his treatments.

Although he is no longer here to witness this expedition, his legacy lives on through Hugh’s determination to fulfil his dream.

Hugh, accompanied by friend Dave Hill, who he met at agricultural college, will navigate the arduous route relying solely on maps and intuition. The expedition, set to test their endurance and resilience, aims to raise funds for RSABI and Eden Valley Hospice, charities close to both families’ hearts. RSABI provides support to individuals and families in Scottish agriculture, while Eden Valley Hospice offers compassionate care to those facing life-limiting illnesses.

“In honour of Tony’s legacy, we are embarking on this expedition to prove that even amidst loss, dreams can endure, and compassion can ignite change,” Hugh said.

“It is our hope that through this challenge, we will provide a beacon of hope and support to those in Scottish agriculture and the hospice community. We gratefully welcome any donations which will enable our two chosen charities to continue delivering the all-important support and services they provide.”

RSABI’s head of fundraising, Pauline Macmillan, said: “We’re very grateful to Hugh and the team for choosing to fundraise for RSABI through this fantastic adventure. We would also like to thank everyone who has stepped up to sponsor the challenge and those who have already donated - the money raised for RSABI will go towards providing vital emotional, practical and financial support to those who need it in Scottish agriculture.”

For more information or to support Hugh’s journey, please visit Highland Heather to Sahara Sands – JustGiving or text SAHARA to 70480 to donate £10.

RSABI provides emotional support, including a free counselling service, as well as practical and financial support. The free, confidential support service is available 24/7 by calling 0808 1234 555 or using the webchat service on the RSABI website.